Prevalence and Predictive Factors of Concurrent Cervical Spinal Cord Compression in Adult Spinal Deformity.

TitlePrevalence and Predictive Factors of Concurrent Cervical Spinal Cord Compression in Adult Spinal Deformity.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsShimizu T, Lehman RA, Pongmanee S, J Sielatycki A, Leung E, K Riew D, Lenke LG
JournalSpine (Phila Pa 1976)
Date Published2019 Aug 01
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Cervical Vertebrae, Cross-Sectional Studies, Decompression, Surgical, Disease Progression, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Prognosis, Retrospective Studies, Spinal Cord Compression, Spinal Cord Diseases

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cross-sectional cohort.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence and predictive factors of concurrent cervical spinal cord compression (CSCC) in patients with adult spinal deformity (ASD).

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: In patients with ASD undergoing major thoracolumbar realignment surgery, concurrent CSCC potentially increases the risk of progression of myelopathy or cervical cord injury due to various perioperative factors including poor intraoperative neck positioning and hypotension. However, the prevalence of CSCC in ASD patients has not been previously studied.

METHODS: This study included ASD patients who were indicated for major thoracolumbar corrective surgery (>5 levels). The presence of CSCC was determined using the modified Cord Compression Index (Grades 0-3) based on the cervical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Significant CSCC was defined as Grade>2, and the distribution of compression level as well as the number of Grade>2 segments were investigated in each patient. A multivariate regression analysis was performed to identify the predictors of CSCC with variables being the patients' characteristics including radiographic sagittal alignment parameters.

RESULTS: Of 121 patients with ASD, 41 patients (33.8%) demonstrated significant CSCC on MRI. Intramedullary T2 hyper-intensity (myelomalacia) was present in eight patients (6.6%). Thirty-five of 41 patients were asymptomatic or with myelopathy that is difficult to detect. Significant CSCC was most commonly observed at C4/5 level. Four patients (3.3%) underwent cervical decompression and fusion prior to thoracolumbar reconstruction. Multivariate regression analysis revealed old age, increased body mass index (BMI), and PI-LL mismatch independently predicted the CSCC grade.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of concurrent significant cervical cord compression in patients with ASD is relatively high at 33.8%. Preoperative evaluation of cervical MRI and examinations for signs/symptoms of myelopathy are essential for patients with (1) older age, (2) increased BMI, and (3) high PI-LL mismatch to avoid progressive myelopathy or cord injury during ASD surgery.


Alternate JournalSpine (Phila Pa 1976)
PubMed ID30830044